Afflictions: Part Three

Welcome to Season 3 of Earth 2! Check out the reading guide first if you’re new here!

Arte was trying to fight off sleep after a long day. Saturday was date night, but given the occasion, Arte had opted for a full date day. It was their anniversary, after all. First they went out for lunch at a bakery, then they’d stopped by the botanical gardens. After that, they had a nice dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse, and then they made it to the theater for a production of Les Miserables. She loved spending time with Ashley, of course, but after a long day she was exhausted.

“Hey Arte?” Ashley rubbed her shoulder. “I’m super happy we decided to stick with Vanessa and everyone. I think being here with you, and doing stuff that really helps people makes me the happiest I’ve ever been.”

“Yeah, I was worried about you at the start, but so far it’s been okay. I’m glad I get to work with you.” Arte sat up, and leaned up against Ashley.

She was quiet for a moment. “I think I’m really just glad I get to be with you at all… It feels like not that long ago I was wondering if I’d ever see you again.”

Arte hugged her tight, and whispered into her ear, “I’ll never let anything like that happen to you again.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

They sat in silence for a moment, enjoying each other’s company. Arte really did mean what she said. Now that they worked together, there was no reason she couldn’t be ready to protect Ashley if something happened. She would be ready the next time something happened. She had powers and backup now.

A moment later, Arte felt a mental alarm. The tripwire laser she’d set had just gone off, and it only did that for humans. Someone was sneaking around outside their window. She jumped out of bed and pulled on some sweatpants.

“Is something wrong?” Ashley started to get up.

Arte motioned for her to be quiet, and made her way to the window. It was dark outside. She carefully lifted the blinds, and conjured a small translucent green rectangle. She lifted it up to the window, and looked through the rectangle. A thin young person was tiptoeing around their house. It wasn’t Zoey, since she was on a trip right now, and nobody that lived with her or next door was that size. She slipped on some shoes, and made her way downstairs. Ashley followed closely behind her, holding a pistol that Arte had bought for her. As they reached the back door, Arte motioned for Ashley to stay where she was. She conjured a green triangle and handed it to her. It would change colors if she needed backup.

Arte quietly slid open the back door, and stepped outside. Whoever it was hadn’t come around to this side of the house yet. She set to work making a series of four connected rectangles, about as tall as she figured whoever it was could reach. Once she’d done that, she pulled out her phone and got the flashlight ready. She took a deep breath, before jumping around the corner and shining the flashlight.

There stood, now blinded by the sudden light, a thin teenage girl with long red hair, wearing a purple sweatshirt with a white heart on it. Arte sighed with relief, as the teenager began to scramble away. She’d seen this girl a few times when she picked up Zoey from things. Her best friend, and, as Arte had put five dollars on, future love interest.

“Jessica it’s fine, it’s just me.” Arte was pretty sure it was fine, but didn’t dissipate the cage, just in case.

The teenager hesitantly turned back to face her. “Aren’t you Zoey’s sister or cousin or something?”

“Close enough.” She shrugged. “So what are you doing here?”

“Isn’t this Zoey’s house? She hasn’t been answering my texts, so I wanted to check in on her.”

“Not quite. She lives over there” She pointed in the direction of her house. “She’s out of the state right now. Why don’t you come in?”

“Oh…” She looked down and thought for a moment. “Sorry to bother you, but do you know when she’ll be back?”

“Oh, about three weeks or so.”

“Gotcha…” She sighed. “Oh well. Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll just go now.”

“Do you need a ride or anything?” Arte called after her, as she turned to walk away. She felt a little bad that she came all this way, especially if she walked. She knew Zoey didn’t have a car, but wasn’t quite sure about this girl.

“No thanks! I parked a little down the road.” Jessica smiled and waved. “Sorry again about bothering you.”

“No problem…” Arte shrugged and went back inside.

“So, who was that?” Ashley asked, as she closed the door.

“Oh just one of Zoey’s friends. Evidently she didn’t know that Zoey was on a road trip right now.” Arte shrugged and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. That scare had definitely woken her up.

“Was that the one that I gave a ride to the mall one time?”

“Yeah, we’ve both met her once or twice. I think she already knew I’m a super, so I figure Zoey must’ve told her.

“Gotcha.” Ash followed her into the kitchen and leaned on the counter. “I hope this trip does her some good. She’s seemed a little down lately.”

“I hope so too…” Arte nodded. “It’s a little weird Zoey didn’t tell Jessica about the trip. I think she’s pretty much her best friend. At least she’s the only one she talks about.”

“Does Zoey have many friends at school? She doesn’t seem to talk about them or spend much time with them if she does.”

“Yeah, I’m not really sure.” Arte had definitely been a little worried about Zoey overall. “She only really talks about Jessica, and I think her relationship with her is at least a little complicated… I don’t wanna make her talk about it though.

“I think she’s probably fine.” Ashley moved in close. ”She does have you, after all.”

“That is true. I must be pretty great if you stick with me.” She went in for a kiss.

“C’mon, let’s go to bed.” Ashley winked, before leading her by the hand.

Previous Part ______________ Next Part

Hello everyone! I’m coming up on an eventful few weeks, so please don’t be surprised if things run a little behind. I should be able to still get posts out on time, but links and pages may be updated slower than usual, and comments may not be approved for a while.

Photo Credit: Original

Afflictions: Part Two

Welcome to Season 3 of Earth 2! Check out the reading guide first if you’re new here!

Vanessa sat in the back seat of Arte’s car with Anastasia, and watched as the familiar wrought iron gate slowly swung open. It had been a year since she’d been here, and it was definitely bringing back memories. She looked out at the lawn, and saw patches of grass were dead. The fountain wasn’t running, despite the fact that it was summer. There weren’t as many people around as there used to be.

Arte followed the driveway up to the front door of the house, and turned around to look at them. “Alright, give me a call when you’re done. We won’t go too far.”

“Good luck!” Ashley smiled.

“Thanks for the ride.” Vanessa nodded and got out of the car. Her dad had offered to send a car to get them, but the last time she rode in one of her dad’s cars she spent the next two months in a concentration camp, so she passed on the offer.

As they stepped up to the door, it swung open. There stood Gregory, wearing a navy blue suit.

“Thank you for coming.” He bowed his head, then gestured inside. “Please, right this way.”

“Is Jean here?” Vanessa asked. It was a little strange for Gregory to be the one greeting them.

“Jean decided to retire after his medical leave last year. Mr. Smith appointed me as the new head of staff. I hope that my services will not disappoint.”

“Oh, okay…” She was hoping to run into Jean, since it had been a while since she’d seen him. She couldn’t believe that Jean had retired. He was getting older, but he seemed to be in good health when she last saw him. Then again, Gregory did mention medical leave, so that could’ve played a hand in it. She resolved to ask her dad when she saw him.

“Please, right this way.” Gregory gestured inside again.

“Gregory, would you mind if we took a walk around the house first? I don’t know how this talk with my dad is gonna go, so I’d like to get the reminiscing out of the way first.”

“Certainly.” He turned to a man inside and nodded. The man ran off around the corner.

“Thanks.” Vanessa smiled, and led Anastasia inside.

Gregory fell in behind them, as they walked into the foyer. It looked about the same as it had before she left. The rug was clean, and the paintings on the walls were dusted.

“I kinda thought your dad would be the one at the door…” Anastasia whispered to Vanessa.

“Well, I planned ahead for this, and asked him to just wait in the dining room. I wanted a little time beforehand to see the place again, in case I don’t come back.”

Her heart was racing. She took a few deep breaths. She still had time before she would talk to him. There was no need to freak out. She could leave if she wanted to, so it was fine. She felt a hand on her shoulder, and turned to see Anastasia smiling reassuringly.

“Alright.” Vanessa nodded. “Let’s go.”

Vanessa led Anastasia through the halls of the first floor. As she’d suspected based on the appearance of the lawn, the pristine cleanliness ended in the foyer. The staff had cleaned a direct path from the foyer to the sitting room as well as possible, but gave the rest of the house more of a light cleaning. The floors had been vacuumed, but there were still cobwebs in corners, and some of the paintings were covered in dust.

She followed the halls to the back of the house, and stepped out onto the patio. Moss had crept up onto the patio itself, and all of the patio furniture was filthy. She went forwards to see the swimming pool, and saw it was drained. Judging by the appearance, it had a thriving ecosystem in it yesterday, but they hastily scooped it out and moved on. She looked back at Gregory, who was visibly uncomfortable, and decided to move on.

She stopped in at Paul and Jude’s old room, and saw that it had been restored to its default state. She thought about looking in closer, but decided against it. She glanced over to Anastasia before she moved on, and saw her staring into the room with a nostalgic yet sad smile.

“Don’t waste any more of your thoughts on him.” Vanessa took her hand.

Anastasia nodded quietly, then smiled. “You’re right… Let’s move on.”

Vanessa decided to limit their tour to only one more room, to save Gregory any more shame at the state of things. Realistically if her dad had cut back on staff, there wasn’t too much even Jean could’ve done to keep the estate as pristine as it used to be. She made her way upstairs, and towards her old bedroom.

Inside, everything was exactly as she had left it when she moved out. The bed was stripped, the closet and dresser were empty, and everything felt desolate. It was a weird feeling looking at where she lived for so long. It was something like what she used to feel when she’d walk into her mom’s office. A feeling of mourning for the person she used to be, and the life she used to have.

“Well… I think I’ve seen enough.” She nodded, and looked over to Anastasia. “Is there anything else you want to see?”

“I think I’m good. Whenever you’re ready.”

Vanessa took a deep breath and sighed. She’d put this off long enough. It was time to go see her dad.

She turned to Gregory, who was standing in the doorway. “Alright, let’s go.”

“Of course.” He pulled out his phone, and typed something out, before turning back to Vanessa. “Right this way.”

Previous Part ______________ Next Part

Hoo boy! I may have planned my time irresponsibly this week, so here’s an underwhelming blurb!

Photo Credit: Original

Afflictions: Part One

Welcome to Season 3 of Earth 2! Check out the reading guide first if you’re new here!

Vanessa sat in the living room with Deven, Paul, Anastasia, Arte, and Ashley. She’d been living with them here for a bit less than a year now, and it had been pretty good. It definitely was a little tight, but it was considerably better than living with her dad. After everything that happened last year, she hasn’t spoken to him once. Not that that had stopped him from sending her texts and voicemails.

It was a Friday night, and that meant that everyone got together to hang out. Despite living together, they were usually out and about, doing their own things. At least one of them usually had a mission or something from the DSR, and the rest had a lot going on. Jude, Anastasia, and herself particularly did a lot of public appearances for publicity, since they were part of the original team. The others would occasionally come along, or sometimes had their own things. Being a super seemed a lot more like being a celebrity than being a cop or a government agent.

“So yeah, the desk should get here some time soon…” Ashley trailed off, and the conversation went quiet for a moment. “What about you, Vanessa?”

“Sorry, I zoned out. What are we talking about?”

“What did you get up to this week?”

Vanessa thought for a moment. This week had been a little light for her, and she couldn’t particularly remember doing anything besides shopping, baking, Netflix, and drinking.

“Well, I guess a little bit of baking, some stuff around the house… Ignoring my dad’s phone calls I guess?” She laughed nervously. At least she’d probably done about as much as Paul normally did.

“You should talk to him.” Paul said flatly.

The whole room turned to him. He hadn’t really been talkative lately. He’d mostly hole himself up in his room, mess with random things, or go on sudden outings with Deven. Needless to say, his advice was unexpected.

“I’ll talk to him when I’m ready.” Vanessa regretted bringing up her dad at all, since she wasn’t really ready to deal with that.

“It’s been almost a year. Still not ready?” He stared up blankly at the ceiling.

Vanessa was about to reply, but Arte cut her off.

“What’s your deal?” She was usually the first to call Paul out. She gave him quite the talking to last week when he destroyed Anastasia’s shoes, and refused to explain why. He was going on about how it ‘didn’t work anyways’.

“I mean-” He reached forward, grabbed a chip, and continued to speak as he ate. “I feel like this is kind of important information. What exactly did he have to do with the super concentration camp.”

“Paul, can you not bring that up?” Ashley forced a smile, but she really hated talking about that.

“What if your dad’s a super villain?”

“That’s enough.” Arte stood up, and everyone went silent.

Paul slowly reached for another chip, and sat up. “She’s never gonna do it if you don’t stop coddling her.”

Vanessa was boiling with rage, but at the same time felt a little bit of doubt. While he was being a jerk, he was right about her dad possibly having important information. Maybe she was just being a coward.

“You wouldn’t understand parent issues…” Vanessa mumbled.

“I do understand intelligence issues, and I think you’ve had plenty of time to get your shit together and figure out what his connection was.” Paul shrugged.

“I’m done listening to this.” Vanessa shotgunned the rest of her wine, and went towards the stairs.

“Leaving the bottle for the rest of us?” He called after her.

Vanessa stormed upstairs, and slammed her bedroom door behind her. She jumped into her bed, and buried herself in her blankets. She would talk to him soon, but Paul had no right to say anything about that. It was her business, and her business only. Her dad obviously had connections to the prison, but she didn’t know that. If she didn’t know for sure, that meant that her dad still had a chance of innocence. He’d been doing really well before all of that happened, and she didn’t want to ruin that image of him.

She heard some shouting downstairs, and some footsteps of someone coming up the stairs. A few moments later, there was a knock on the door.

“Can I come in?” Anastasia asked.

Vanessa wiped her tears away, and unburied herself a little. “Fine…”

Anastasia and her had been doing a lot of stuff together lately, and they’d become a little close. It was surprising to see this side of her, since before she’d mostly just been jealous and mad. Yet another awful thing she’d done, but was too scared to talk about.

She opened the door and closed it quietly after she came in. Vanessa could make out the sound of Ashley begging Arte to calm down.

“Things got a little intense out there, huh?” Anastasia laughed a little, and sat on the foot of her bed.

“Do you think Paul was right?”

“Well, no…” She hesitated. “Maybe a little, but he’s still way out of line. You can talk to your dad whenever you’re ready.”

“Maybe I should just get it over with. I don’t think anythings gonna change…” Vanessa paused for a moment. “I’m just scared that we’re right about him.”

“Well, I’m not sure if this will make it any better, but, if you want, I can go with you whenever you decide to go.”

Vanessa’s heart fluttered. “Really, you would?”

“Totally!” She moved in closer. “I’ll do whatever you need me to.”

“Okay… I’ll do it.” She nodded, trying to convince herself. If she had a close friend with her, then she could definitely do it.

She pulled out her phone, and scrolled through the contacts. She finally found ‘Dad’, and clicked call. The phone rang for a moment, until someone finally picked up.

“Vanessa, is that you?” He sounded somewhat groggy. She was a little worried he was back on the drink.

“Yeah, dad…”

Next Part

Hoo boy! Here we go! Welcome to Afflictions everyone, strap on for the ride. I am unbelievably hyped to be here.

Photo Credit: Original

Trials: Recap

Two mojitos later, and with another in hand, Vanessa found herself back on the couch in what had evidently become Caveat’s ‘therapy room’. Previously she might’ve been more worried about a hangover or something, but at this point it didn’t really matter. Everything she’d had before was over, so what was the big deal if she slept until 2 PM and felt like shit.

“Ya know, Caveat.” Vanessa giggled a little at her own joke as she tried to get it out. “I think you might be my favorite therapist, because normally, I don’t get to drink until after the session.”

“Not like I have a license anyways, so there are no rules here!” Caveat laughed, being careful not to spill his own drink.

“Maybe this won’t be all that bad, just me and you…” Vanessa laid back on the couch and sighed.

“Maybe…” Caveat laughed, then shook his head. “Wait, wait, I think I was on to something before the mojitos…”

Vanessa struggled to remember for a moment. “Oh with the whole ‘tell the story up to here’ thing?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Caveat nodded, taking a sip of his drink, then setting it to the side. “I think we were really getting to something. Let’s keep going.”

“Ugh…” Vanessa groaned. “I don’t wanna think about any of that.”

“C’mon, we gotta finish what we started.” He thought for a moment. “Tell you what, I know a bit of the story, so I can fill stuff in. Bit of the added context.”

“Fine…” She sighed as she sat upright. “Let’s see, there was a year or so where we just kinda stayed in the house and avoided eachother… Deven moved in with us which was weird, but we got used to him. Then some more awful shit happened. I think it started with Paul leaving on his trip. He took Anastasia with him, and I think that’s the last time I hated her. We made up after, but I guess it doesn’t really matter what I think of her now…”

“Hey, no need to get stuck on one sad part.” Caveat gave her a pat on the shoulder. “What happened after that?”

“You don’t understand man… It was perfect and she was perfect and…”

“What’s done is done.” Caveat nodded sagely. “What’s not done is the story we’re telling.”

“Fine.” Vanessa cleared her throat and shook her head. “Well, then I decided I would go own my own trip, since Paul got to do one. Then I caused a whole scene and left in one of my dad’s cars. Then I woke up in the camp…” Vanessa shuddered at the thought of it. They needed to finish the story though, so she chugged the rest of her mimosa and sat the cup to the side.

“Alright, lightning round.” Vanessa took a deep breath. “Takeo, he was the dude who ran the prison and he had fire powers basically, monologued a bunch when I got there, then Darryl, who was just a guard but he’ll come up later, and some other dude threw me in a cell with Ashley. I was kind of a dick for a while, but I started to warm up to her. The camp really sucked, but we got by. Takeo did a bunch of weird culty bullshit about honor and stuff. I’m pretty sure he was completely white, so I don’t really get the whole Asian aesthetic he was doing, but whatever.

“Anyways, Takeo would do duels with the prisoners if we messed up. He murdered Johan, who I knew from my dad’s work, and then tried to make Ashley fight him. I stepped in and he kicked my ass. I think I was in the camp for like a month before that. He was really good at fighting despite being a weird creep.”

“Shit man…” Caveat nodded along.

“Hey aren’t you supposed to be writing this down or something?”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. I wasn’t writing anything important anyways.” Caveat shrugged, and took another sip. “So what happened next?”

Vanessa thought for a moment. “After that was the cave. Ashley and I woke up in a cave, and wandered around a bit. I think this was how Takeo punished people that he didn’t execute. We ran into Darryl, and I threatened him, but then I read his mind, and he was cool, so we worked together. I combined our powers, his was seeing a few seconds into the future, and scoped out the whole cave. Basically a bunch of the ways just led back to the camp, some would kill you, and one led to the woods outside. We took the one that led to the woods.”

“Hold that thought.” Caveat held up a finger and drank the last bit of his mimosa.

Another Caveat entered the room with two more mixed drinks in hand. These were definitely not mimosas. Vanessa took one, and it had a nice pineapple taste. Once he’d handed off both of the drinks, the other Caveat left. He seemed to be significantly more sober than the Caveat in front of her.

“Pina coladas.” Caveat nodded.

“So hold on, when you’re drinking, do all of you get drunk or just you?”

“Both.” Caveat nodded. “I’ve just got the one mind, so we’re all drunk, granted not as drunk as this one body, but the other bodies can move fine. If I got roofied or something, I could just cut off the body that got poisoned, and it would end. Anyways, get back to the story.”

Vanessa pulled herself out of her general amazement at the ridiculousness of the being before her. “Fine. We got out of the cave, made camp, and talked a bit. Then one of the guards, this one had super speed, came, and got in a fight with Darryl. They both got shot, so Ashley transferred Darryl’s wounds to the other guy, and then we decided to go back to the camp to free everyone.”

“Wow that was pretty fast.” Caveat nodded. “What was everyone else up to? I think they were there at the camp with you to do the whole big fight with Takeo.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Vanessa thought for a moment. She knew what Jude, Arte, and Anastasia were doing, but not really Paul. “So Jude got kicked out by my dad, and was on house arrest from the DSR. He met Arte while she was looking for Ashley, and she moved in. Then they did a bit of superhero stuff with Zoey, who lived nextdoor to the house with her dad. I think they did a fight with the imposter guy here.”

“Who’s ‘Imposter Guy’?” Caveat asked.

“Some kid. He got shapeshifting powers, and I think Felix made him do crimes while dressed like us.” Vanessa felt a twinge of anger at the mention of Felix’s name, but stifled it. This was a good time, so there was no need to ruin it. “Anyways, Paul was doing mystical shit at the monastery, which was some place in the middle east with a bunch of international magical monks. He didn’t really tell any of us. Anastasia was doing some investigating around the monastery. Evidently Jean knew the monastery chick?”

Caveat looked off to the side then nodded. “Okay, so evidently Paul was training his vision powers and found out about… Well, the incident.”

“Ah…” Vanessa nodded. That wasn’t really something she wanted to think about, so she took a large sip of her pina colada, and forcibly redirected her energy. “Anyways, we gotta keep moving. We’ve got a lot of story left to tell.”

“Please.” Caveat nodded.

“So we all met up at the camp, and then everyone insisted we leave Takeo alive, so we did. Jude got blasted by a full blow, but eventually we kicked Takeo’s ass, and hit him with a bunch of tranquilizers. I guess he got arrested or something.” She shrugged. “Nobody ever told me.”

Caveat looked off to the side again, and nodded. “Not arrested, went off with Darryl… No I won’t tell her that yet.”

“Who are you talking to? I feel like you’re talking to someone.” Vanessa looked off to where he was looking, but nobody was there.

“Don’t worry too much about it.” Caveat smiled. “Anyways, you ready to move on or do you need another break. We hit a nice stopping point.”

“Hmmm… Let’s just move on.” She’d like to wrap this up so she could get all the way hammered, rather than partially so.

Previous Recap ———————————- Next Recap

Season 3: Afflictions

Note: Honestly I think Trials is a great read. However, I understand if you’re reluctant to reading a backlog, so this is more or less what you need to know for Afflictions.

Photo credit: Pexels free photos

Season 3: Release Date & Name

Hello, everyone!

Bet you thought I forgot about that whole March release date thing. You would (surprisingly) LOSE that bet! I finished season 3, and I am currently editing it. The official release date is… Technically in March, even if it’s not on my usual upload day…

Tuesday March 30th!

I will be uploading an additional post that week on the Friday, so as to resume my uploading schedule. I put a lot of work (a good portion of it over the last two weeks) into this, and my beta has very high praise for it. I very much hope you’ll like it. I really think I found the direction I wanted the story to go when I did Trials, so if you liked Trials I believe you will like season 3 even more. If you haven’t read it, then no worries, I will be releasing a recap of Trials this friday.

The next matter of business is the official name. After much (about 30 minutes) debate, I finally settled on “Afflictions”. Slightly ominous, I know, but I think you’ll see how it makes sense once it’s done. Afflictions will run for 56 parts with an epilogue afterwards. Each part is around 1000 words, and in total, it came up to 60k, which I’m very happy with. This season I will be using the same header as the featured image every time, rather than finding a new stock image every week. I may change it at thematic points in the story, but not terribly much.

Next, I wanted to give you some insight on the ultimate direction of the story. Following Afflictions, I intend to fill the (inevitable) hiatus with mostly stories involving the main characters. I usually time skip a little between seasons, but this time I think I need to fill you in through more than just recap of what happens. This wouldn’t work so cleanly with a book, but I use the medium of a blog, so I may as well take advantage of it.

After the hiatus, I am expecting there to be two more seasons of Earth 2. That’s right, this story may actually see its ending. After that, I have literally no idea what I’ll do. I have a few projects I’m interested in right now, one being a sequel series to Earth 2.

Lastly, I’m currently considering starting a Patreon. I would upload content relevant to my music (unreleased atm), and my writing. On the writing end, I think I would try to have the story running one week ahead, and have some developers commentary. I think as far as numbers go, the developers commentary was very successful. I may have some kind of list of Patreon supporters I update monthly or something like that. In all likelihood it would be something like 5 dollars per month. I may do some kind of video content relevant to the blog, or a patreon q&a, or some shenanigans like that. Would any of you be interested in supporting me on a patreon? I’d like to have some idea before I put in the work of setting it up. Please let me know in the comments or on the contact page. I may also run a twitter poll.

Would 5 dollars be too much to ask? I likely would have upper tiers, but not much extra for them.

With all that being said, I hope you are all safe and doing well. I love that you enjoy my work, regardless of whether you are willing/able to support me for it.

(Photo credit: Me)


Foreword to the foreword: This isn’t porn, nor was the original novel idea ever going to be porn. I don’t think I realized the possible connection that might’ve been drawn there. I didn’t really specify in the original foreword.

I’ve been enjoying the foreword lately, so I thought I’d keep going with that. I’ve finally started writing season 3 again, and I’m approximately two thirds of the way done at the time I’m writing this, so I should hopefully have the draft done in a couple of weeks, barring further unexpected events. I honestly thought I was out of hiatus content, but I was looking and found this piece. A quick note, barring extremely unexpected events, I will keep posting every friday until I finish season 3. This will ideally make me finish it quicker, and not lose any statistical momentum my blog may have.

This is the first chapter of a potential longer work, which at its current point, is just a gender swap short story. I worked on it for a bit when I had ambitions of writing a novel over the summer, and put it on hold when the outline got a little bit *weird*. I feel like I don’t need to give any insight to what this might say about myself, especially if you’re coming here from twitter. I’ll let you puzzle that one out.

In all likelihood, this project will remain abandoned (unless you guys just love it I guess), but it was fun to outline. I’ve still yet to write a proper novel, but this is not the only novel I’ve ever embarked to write. I’ve started to write three, other than this, one which was the original story that I called superzeroes, which got scrapped for being overly edgy garbage that, no matter how hard I tried to fix my original concept, glorified an awful abusive relationship, and made the abuser look cool.

Another is a project I called ‘Fletching’, which basically explored the concept of superheroes in a world where they lost. If you’ve ever read old man logan, it was a similar idea, but nobody knew what happened, and it didn’t take place in an established world, so the reader would figure it out over time. That one got scrapped about halfway in, as it was an exercise in writing without an outline, and went poorly. If I find a ridiculous reserve of energy, I may return one day to fix it. I would’ve actually already uploaded that first chapter if it weren’t for the fact that the intro to the story was easily the worst part of it that I’d written, and I could never be bothered to fix it.

The last novel I’ve started was an origin story for Adara, which would’ve explained some of the backstory of her and Jean. I wound up scrapping it due to me being woefully underqualified to write a Muslim character. That’s actually one of my regrets about the character, if I’m honest. I didn’t explore enough of her actual heritage, and instead based it off of my western understanding. I think a lot of the story involving the monastery (and events yet to come), as well as hidden mechanics of magic, could’ve been a lot cooler if I’d looked more into that.

Anyways, I should be putting these words into season 3 right now, so I’ll quit rambling. Here is chapter one (likely never to be followed up on) of ‘Cait’.

(photo credit: Pexel’s free photos)

A blaring alarm pulled John out of his sleep. He got out of bed, and slammed his knee into some piece of furniture. He couldn’t quite tell what it was, as it was too dark to see. He eventually groped his way around the room until he turned off the alarm. This was when he noticed something off. Firstly, it was Saturday, and he hadn’t set an alarm. Secondly, this was not his alarm clock. His heart was racing now, and he felt his way around the room until he found a light switch.

He flipped it on and looked around the room. Definitely not his. None of this was his. It was definitely a girls room, judging by the clothes he could see. The furniture wasn’t overly feminine. The walls were blue and most of the furniture was wood grain patterned. He could’ve sworn he went to bed in his own house.

Another thing he noticed was that the furniture was strangely big, and the ceiling unusually high. He realized at this point, that the furniture was not in fact shorter, he was. More accurately, he was not him anymore, he was in the body of a girl. He could feel long hair draping over his shoulders. His heart felt like it was about to burst. He took a deep breath. He could panic about this later, for now, he needed to figure out exactly what had happened.

The first question was what kind of scenario this was. Was he still himself, just as a girl, or had he transferred into another person’s body. Another concern was if whoever’s body this was, was in his body. That could be worked out later. He scanned the room and saw an iPhone plugged into its charger. He ran over, and thanked Steve Jobs for face-id.

First he went for the address book, and found not a single name that he recognized. He checked the ‘Mom’ contact, and saw it had a different phone number.

That was that, he had to be in someone else’s body. Logically that meant that they were in his. He was about to call his phone number, when he saw the time. It wasn’t even 8 AM yet, and he usually slept with his phone in the other room, so he wouldn’t be able to reach himself until later.

Next, he went for Facebook. Evidently this person’s name was Cait Wallace. She was 17, and went to North Elk high school, which was the same place John had gone. After a bit of scrolling through everything he could find on her phone, he found that Cait didn’t do too much of anything. She went to school, and watched a lot of netflix. She seemed to be in upper level classes, so that was something, but other than that she didn’t do anything. She had a couple of friends, Ashley and Erin. She texted them quite a bit, but nobody other than that.

The next question was why was a high schooler getting up this early on a Saturday. He checked the calendar, and there wasn’t anything there. He figured there was nothing else to do but ask. It sounded like someone else was up.

He opened the door as quietly as he could, since he was about to blunder around the house like he didn’t know where anything was, and that would likely raise suspicions. He managed to find a bathroom and two other bedrooms, before he found himself in what looked to be the den. In the kitchen, he saw two people he assumed to be Cait’s parents, and Cait’s younger brother, Josh. Cait’s dad was drinking coffee at the table, and her mom was cooking something. Cait’s brother was on the couch watching TV. All of them were still in their pajamas.

“Morning, Cait!” The man looked up from his phone. “You got any plans today?”

John swore silently. He had hoped that he could glean that from them, but Cait’s dad had to go and ask him that immediately. “I feel like there’s something I’m supposed to do, but I can’t quite remember. Do any of you know?”

“Cait? doing something on a Saturday?” The brother laughed.

“There’s not anything that I know of.” Cait’s mom replied. “Is it something with Erin or Ashley?”

“No, I don’t think so…” John shook his head. “Weird.”

He needed to act cool about this. He had briefly considered honesty, but there was a significant enough chance that he got locked in a mental ward or stuck in a lab, that he decided that wasn’t the best approach. These parents seemed like nice enough people, but that was too big of a chance.

He began to move back towards Cait’s room, but her mom called after him.

“Hey, Cait. Breakfast is almost ready, so don’t go far!”

“Okay!” John replied.

It was definitely weird hearing someone else’s voice coming out of his mouth. Then again, this wasn’t really his mouth, was it? Everything else about this was weird too, but he needed to figure out what to do from here. There weren’t going to be any impending crises, so that gave him some flex time, but he still needed to work something out. He’d call his phone, to see if someone is in his body, and if they could help him out. For now, he would eat breakfast, and hide away in Cait’s room for as long as possible.

A thought occurred to him, he wondered if Cait had a car. He looked around the room, and found a purse. He dug through it for a little bit, and eventually found a car key. That would definitely make things easier.

He heard a door open.

“Planning on going somewhere?” Cait’s dad asked.

“Oh, no.” John laughed a little. “Just couldn’t remember where I put it.” He stuffed the car key back into the purse.

Superzeroes Invaded (Alternate Timeline) Part 3

Hello everyone! This is a continuation of a non-canon, potential ending of Earth 2. Last post I talked a little about where I was when I wrote this, and where I’m at now, so this post I had a bit of trouble deciding what to talk about. Eventually, I settled on attempting to decipher what the hell I meant by any of this. At this point in Superzeroes, I have a few themes, and a few core messages that I hope you’ve been able to get out of my work. I think spelling them out here would dampen it in some capacity really, so I’ll leave those for you to figure out.

At this point in my writing career, however, I wasn’t really writing about much of anything. By this point, I’d decided a few things, not really evident in this post. I think the core conceipt was a mixture of “this is a reasonable intepretation of how superheroes could unfold” and “Hey isn’t this fuckin cool?”. Sometimes (like during this stage of development), those two things were at odds. I’m sure you can see the obvious influence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on my writing. You build up a bunch of properties then smash them together like a bunch of unrelated action figures. I haven’t exactly moved away from that concept, but I think trying to merge two ideas as fundamentally different as “Grounded but not edgy take on superheroes” and “Badass high sci fi space pirates” was only going to lead to it being overcomplicated and not about anything.

I have admittedly gone a little overboard on adding characters (and also haven’t stopped, I have a problem), but I think those characters generally work well together as a cohesive message. In general, when reading my work, if you see a green light at the introduction, you can probably assume that it takes place in the same universe, and will tie into the main story (even if it’s just a reference) in some capacity. I hope season 3 holds some surprises in this regard.

Anyhow, this is the final part in the story. After this week, I think I might have to actually write something new to continue the hiatus (oh no, work!). I’m finally resuming writing, as of this week. I had to clean out my depression lair and get into a bit of manic productivity to get to this point, but I should be able to keep to a March release date. I’m about 2/3rds of the way done if I recall correctly, but will need to give my beta reader time to read and make notes, and then make revisions myself. Last season my beta caught a couple of big things that really muddled my message, and needed to be changed.

Jonathon coughed up some more blood as he fell to the ground, but he saw Zoey run by and knew it was working. The creature stomped up to him, and Jonathon realized he was getting pummelled by a giant gorilla. He narrowly rolled out of the way of one punch, and tried to duck around it, but the creature was not letting him get behind it. He reached for his pistols, and realized, they were broken into pieces. Jonathon had a very bad idea, but it was better than no idea. Jonathon ran up the wall and latched onto the gorilla’s face. He was hoping it was stupid enough to fall for the bait, and sure enough it did. Jonathon’s ribs were shattered as the creature punched itself, full force, in the face. The creature toppled to the ground.

Laura gagged as she had a realization. This creature could deflect and absorb energy. She felt like she was moving through mollases as she reached in her pocket. Jonathon had always harped on what he called the number one rule of prison. Always have a shiv on you. She drove the shiv into the creature and immediately felt better. She stabbed again and again until it collapsed.

The Hunter grunted as he reached over to his side. He picked up one of the panels he had knocked off the wall and moved it between him and the man. He now felt the force distributed across his entire body. He used his shoulder and full force to slowly press towards the man. He felt the force increase, but this just made him angry. He screamed as he began to full speed run despite the blast. Eventually he heard a thunk, and the resistance ended. He moved the sheet of metal and saw the human unconscious on the ground, he proceeded to clobber the bastard with the metal. “Traitor.” he spat on the corpse of the man.

Zoey concentrated and slowly a trail of blue dust began to form and slide into the reactor. She concentrated and began to increase the flow. She felt like she was straining a muscle she didn’t even have. She concentrated and felt her nose begin to bleed. She began to feel actual pain as she finally reached the volume she needed. The salt began to react with the reactor. The entire ship began to shake. She ceased the flow and almost collapsed to the ground.

Zoey stood to her feet and ran over to the group, who seemed to be standing around Jonathon. As she approached she saw him broken and bloody on the ground.

“Jonathon!” She ran over to him.

“We need to get out of here!” He coughed. “Leave me and run.”

“No way.” Laura lifted him up, despite his cries of pain. “Come on!” She led the group out of the room as the reactor began to erupt behind them.

The four ran along the hallway and heard a loud clamoring behind them. They turned around and saw a large army gaining on them. They ran with all they had, but the army still gained. They were exhausted and carrying one of their teammates.

“Laura, drop me. I’ll hold them off. Run.” Jonathon coughed up another ounce of blood.

“No.” She stifled her tears. “There’s another way! There has to be! It’s always me and you, forever!” She could no longer stifle them.

“You’re strong, you can do this. There is no other way. Get Zoey to safety. She’s too young to die.” He coughed again. “I’m dead either way. Just go.”

“Jonathon…” She sobbed, her breath heaved as she ran.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” 

“We die arm in arm pirate. I will not have someone rob me of my revenge, without dying to stop it.” The Klax-On took Jonathon from Laura and stood him up. “Here’s a gun.” He handed Jonathon an invader gun. 

“Didn’t think I’d die alongside the man who tortured me so.” Jonathon chuckled, between coughs of blood.

“Just shut up and shoot.” The Hunter roared and opened up fire.

“Dorian, fire up the ship, plot a course to Earth.” Laura shouted through her sobbing and panting.

“Captain, I’m not sure if our systems can take it.”

“I don’t care! We’re out of options.” Laura jumped through the hole onto the ship, pulling Zoey behind her.

“Captain, the engines have completely failed.” 

Laura stood silent for a moment. “Dorian, is there an Evac pod intact?”

“Only one.”

“Zoey, get in the pod.” Laura opened up the lid to what looked like a futuristic coffin, it could fit one person max.

“What? No way!” Zoey backed away from the pod, wiping away her own tears. She had never had a mission go like this before. She hadn’t ever experienced a loss like this on the field.

“Zoey, my world just died back there. Your world still lives down there. Get. In. The. Fucking. Pod.” Laura held back her tears to look stern.

Zoey embraced Laura for a moment. “You’re all heroes.” She laid down in the pod.

“No, honey. We’re pirates.” Laura closed the lid. “Goodbye, kid.” She pressed a button and the pod fired off towards earth.

She took a seat in her chair. “Dorian, play Let it Be.” 

“Yes, captain.” The sound of the beatles drowned out the incoming explosion.

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Superzeroes Invaded (Alternate Timeline) Part 2

Hello everyone! This is a continuation of a non-canon, potential ending of Earth 2. Last post I talked about the basic information needed to understand this, so this time I’m going to put this in perspective with the rest of my writing. I wrote this approximately some time in the mid/late part of Origins, which if you’ve read, is not exactly high quality prose. I’m still happy with it so to speak, but it’s obviously quite different from my current writing, in both quality and theme, as are a lot of my attitudes and views.

This, however, holds up very nicely in my opinion. This is really nearly unedited, so it honestly stands out for my work at the time. I know it’s weird to think about an ending to the story as being an archived old piece of writing, but this is really what it is to me. While I chose not to go with this direction, in an attempt to keep the series more grounded, I still sometimes think about what might’ve been.

If I find myself needing to add time to the hiatus (during which I’ve definitely started writing again, and haven’t just been working on an album), I will probably come back to Super Turbo Space Pirates. I’ve moved past thinking deadpool/han solo style edgy pirate asshole is cool, I think I can easily move Jonathon into more of a simply happy, still sarcastic, person, and had a lot of cool ideas going on (like thiol).

Anyways, I’m rambling a little, so thanks for reading, hope you enjoy!

Jonathon ran along the rows of cells, eventually he found the symbols he was looking for. He looked inside and sure enough, an unconscious Laura hung upon the wall by some confusing apparatus of metal latches and glowing coils. She was behind another translucent door that was difficult to see through. “Oh I’m gonna kill these guys…” He tapped at the keypad, but saw that it required some kind of key.

He looked around and saw the nearest guard happened to be coming right for him. He dove and kicked its legs out from under it, before breaking its neck. He grabbed a device that looked like it would fit the hole and shoved it in.

The door whooshed open and Jonathon stepped into the cell. 

“Greetings Jonathon.” An all too familiar voice said from his right.

He looked over and saw The Hunter chained in the same cell as Laura. “How did you get captured?”

“I believe a better question is how you weren’t.”

Jonathon turned his attention back to his wife. He ran over to her and woke her up. “Are you okay?”

“Jonathon? What the hell are you doing here? You shouldn’t have come here!” She looked terrified. Jonathon had heard they can break people, but they would pay for this.

“I’m getting you out of here. Can you walk?” He released her shackles with the same key and she stood to her feet.

“Evidently.” She stretched her arms.

“Alright let’s go.” He starts out the door.

“I imagine you’re quite pleased with this outcome.” The Hunter growled. “Congratulations on your victory over me. However short lived that victory may be.”

Jonathon looked around for a moment and ran over to The Hunter. He undid his shackles and helped him to his feet. “Nobody deserves a fate like this.”

“This will not buy you mercy.”

“This isn’t a purchase, it’s an act of kindness. Now come on.” He led Laura and The Hunter out of the cell.

“Oh my god, is that an alien?” Zoey asked as Jonathon and company joined her at the door. She stood over a pile of invaders.

“To me you are the alien.” The Hunter growled.

“Stop brooding. We need to get to the reactor.” Jonathon picked up two guns from dead invaders and handed one to both Laura and The Hunter.

“You are a fool, space pirate.” The Hunter flicked the weapon into action and took a test shot at the cells. “This is a fine piece.”

“Why are you so weird?” Jonathon shook his head. “Alright reactor time.” Jonathon took off down the halls.

The lower deck of the ship seemed to be largely empty, but Jonathon just hoped he was finally getting a break. They reached the reactor room, and found three figures standing between them and it. Jonathon took a shot at one, but it was deflected. He had to duck to avoid being hit.

“We need to make an opening for Zoey.” He turned to Zoey. “This is one of those moments. You shut down the reactor. Don’t worry about us, you still have a full life ahead of you.” He turned to the rest of the group. “Alright, Hunter, you take the guy on the left, Laura dead center, and I’ll go right. Zoey, you stay back and try to get to the reactor.” Jonathon kissed Laura and took a deep breath. “Go!” 

The three charged their respective targets, while Zoey stayed back.

Jonathon charged the figure on the right. As he got closer, he saw the figure was big and hairy. He narrowly dodged a fist, as he looked back, he saw the fist had left a dent in the metal. He drew his guns and opened fire. The creature appeared to be irritated by the shots, but not critically injured. Jonathon slid under its legs, narrowly avoiding being stepped on. He looked at its back and saw an opening along its spine. He took aim and failed to notice the hand grabbing his leg. Jonathon flew through the air and smacked into the wall.

Laura ran forwards towards her adversary, she noticed she was simply humanoid with purple skin, but this wasn’t a race she had seen before… She wondered if it was extragalactic, then remembered she probably shouldn’t be wondering about the hometown of her opponent. She took a few shots, but they were deflected easily, one knocking her to the ground. The creature moved extremely fast, and wrapped its hand around her throat. Laura felt worse than the time she almost died from the flu all of a sudden. She tried to shoot again, but it was deflected.

The Hunter charged his adversary, but was quickly blasted into a wall. There was no visible force pushing him, but he was pressed up against the wall. The figure drew near, and he realized it was human. He had always hated humans, but this human was also a traitor. There was nothing worse than a traitor, but a traitor human, that might just do it. He tried to push off the wall, but failed. He felt his bones beginning to strain, and knew he must act fast.

Zoey snuck around the brawl, she tried to look away as much as possible. She knew Mr. Jonathon had given her instructions and she had to follow them. She ran along, catching occasional glimpses, and it appeared that he was doing okay. She turned back to running, and narrowly avoided being knocked over by something, she chose not to look, but to keep running. She reached the reactor and took a deep breath. Jude had asked her to study a new compound and he said this would shut off the reactor. It was chemically a salt, so she should be able to make it. She had been able to make some before, but it was hard. She concentrated with all her might, and… Nothing happened.

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Photo Credit: Pexels Free Photos

(Sorry for shifting formatting shenanigans, wordpress is giving me grief)

Superzeroes Invaded (Alternate Timeline) Part 1

Hello everyone! As promised, here is an alternate timeline, that I decided not to pursue, as I wanted to keep this more grounded. If you’ve not read any of my Super Turbo Space Pirates entries, this will not make as much sense to you. If you still don’t want to read that, but want to keep reading this, Jonathon is a sarcastic space pirate, husband of Laura, who is his sarcastic space pirate wife, and nemesis of the Hunter, who is a big buff alien dude.

The general premise to this ending was that Jonathon would crash land on earth, heralding the introduction of aliens to the series. The aliens from outside the galaxy would make a brief appearance and be fought off, then would eventually come back. This culminated in a finale where most people died. There was actually a bit written about a battle that was a distraction while this was going on, but I didn’t think it worked as well as a standalone alternate ending (also would’ve made this like 6 parts). I was going to go in a direction similar to supergirl, mixed with the arc of Star Wars where aliens invaded the galaxy and were super hard to kill and there were a lot of them.

I’ll add notes in line where I feel they are needed, but other than that the characters should all be fairly similar. Enjoy!

Zoey stepped slowly onto the Nautilus. She took in all of the future technology around her… She had seen sci-fi, but this was something else… Something better! “Whoa, this is amazing!”

“Yeah, try not to break anything.” Jonathon pointed at her and paused. “Ah who am I kidding, I’m probably about to total this ship, knock yourself out.” He turned to Jude. “Hey can I talk to you for a second?”

“Sure.” Jude followed him into a side room, and Jonathon shut the door behind them. “What’s up?”

“Why is there a kid on this ship? You know this mission is basically suicide, right?” 

“She’s the key to any of this working. I’m not happy about this, but you need to get her on that ship. She’s the key.” Jude sighed. “Look, I know what I’m asking her, and you, to do, and I know it’s not pretty… But I really don’t see another way.”

“Jude, with me, it’s one thing. I’m seasoned, and they’ve got Laura, but this girl? She doesn’t know what she’s getting into!”

“I told her the risks.”

“You told her the risks?! Jude, she’s a kid! She doesn’t understand the risk! She’s fifteen! A teenager could stare certain death in the face, and not blink.” 

Jude bowed his head and wiped his eyes. “I know.” He turned away from Jonathon, took a deep breath and left the room. He hugged Zoey tight. “You’re the real hero.”

Note: Jude was also going off on a suicide mission at this point, not Just sending a child to die for him. Also did totally send a child though.

“Don’t worry Mr. Dayspring, it’ll be fine.” She patted him on the shoulder and went off with Jonathon.

Jude watched her walk all the way off, then stepped off the ship. He cried as he watched it fly away.

Zoey followed Jonathon onto the bridge. She stopped after she entered. “So, I’ve seen you around but I haven’t really met you. I’m Zoey.”

“Yeah, I’m Jonathon.” He sat down in his seat and set about to flicking a load of switches. After a while, he placed his hand on a lever, he paused and turned to her. “You gonna strap in?”

“Sorry.” Zoey ran over to the nearest chair and strapped in.

“Dorian, hit the boom drive.” Jonathon said with a hidden smirk.

“Yes, captain.” Dorian replied

“Whoa! You have-” Zoeys observation was cut short by a massive boom. She was pressed up against her seat, she felt like this is probably what astronauts feel. She looked around and saw the head ship in front of them. “Is that the ship?” Her heart was pounding as she saw this hulking starship.

Jonathon hesitated for a moment before turning to her. “Zoey… Has Jude told you just how dangerous this mission is?” 

“Yeah, but I mean, everything we do is dangerous.” 

“This… This is different.” He sighed and rubbed his face. “Honestly, it is more likely that you will die than it is that you will live. We are probably not going to make it home.”

Zoey hadn’t quite considered it like that. She thought about her father, and how heartbroken he would be if his little girl didn’t make it home. She thought about how her town needed her… But she had heard them talking, she knew she was the only way… So she had to, right? “I know.”

Jonathon shook his head and turned back around. “So, the fate of the world rests in the hands of an accountant and a teenage girl. What could go wrong.” He flicked some switches and began to slowly maneuver the ship around the head ship. “Dorian, please highlight the mark.” 

A quarter sized red dot appeared on the glass, highlighting a portion of the head ship. Jonathon wiped sweat from his face and slowly adjusted a few knobs. “Kid, you were briefed on the plan, right?”

Zoey was so busy worrying that she almost didn’t hear him. “Remind me?”

“I’m going to hit the boom drive, and we’re going to ram the ship. We rescue my wife, then you neutralize the reactor, then we get out of there, or die trying.”

“Okay…” Zoey’s heart was pounding, and she had a weird headache. She had never had these kinds of stakes before. She had faced threats, but this was facing death… She didn’t want to die.

“And kid?”


“Do exactly what I say when we get there. If it’s a possible outcome, you are coming out alive, but you need to do exactly what I say.”

“Okay.” Zoey took a deep breath and braced herself for impact.

“By the way, this is going to make a car crash feel like it tickles.”

“Wha-” Zoey heard a boom and a horrific scraping of metal on metal. She felt like she had just been hit by a train. She undid the harness and slowly stood to her feet. Everything was sore, but she could manage.

Jonathon coughed up some blood and wiped it on his pants. “Never gets old, ruining my ships. Looks like she might be flyable, though.” Jonathon paused and looked around. “Alright, follow me, double time. They know we’re here now.”

Jonathon ran through a hole in the side of the ship and Zoey did her best to follow. They stepped onto the head ship and saw the interior was black with a green walkway. Numerous panels displaying cryptic symbols lined the walls. Zoey was captivated, but Jonathon was wasting no time, so she followed.

Jonathon raced through the corridors and came to a sudden stop, Zoey almost ran into him. “Why’d you s-” 

Jonathon cupped his hand over her mouth. “Okay, this is our destination. We’re about to have a really big fight.” 

“First off-” Zoey was annoyed that he still treated her like a child, despite them being assigned the same mission, but was interrupted by him stepping out and opening fire. She followed him and saw two dead invaders in front of a doorway. 

Jonathon stepped into the doorway and saw several levels of prison cells with a walkway around each. It was dark and odious. Jonathon saw there were at least two guards on every level. “Alright, kid, it’s time to prove you’re worth your salt. Kill some aliens while I search the cells.” 

“Stop calling me kid!” She called after him as he took off. She began to throw balls of molten salt at the guards. She was able to take out about four before they started shooting back. She threw up a wall of salt as their shots came towards her, absorbing the blow of each one. She looked to the side and saw guards coming down the stairs straight at her.

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A Small Caveat

This is a continuation of a one-off that can be found here.

Caveat paced down a dark street in St. Louis. He had to do most of his moving around at night, due to the horns and red skin. He used to be afraid of places like this, but really he’d been in much worse situations than this in the last year. Besides, today he had a goal that was too good to pass up, despite the sketchiness of the source. It had definitely been disconcerting to start hearing voices, but in the end he still listened to it.

He finally reached the point he’d been told about. It was a narrow alley, between a couple of office buildings. The alley itself became progressively more filled with trash the further back you went. His heart was racing, but he didn’t care.

He looked down at his watch. It was almost time, according to the voice.

He wondered what kind of power he’d come across. He’d been told that it would make a lot of his issues much easier to deal with, and that it wouldn’t be hard to bargain with the guy. That meant that it was most likely a curse to whoever had it, but it would somehow be helpful to him. That ruled out all of the more obvious powers, since they were usually without major drawbacks.

The second hand hit 15 on his watch, and Caveat sighed. He didn’t see anyone, but he didn’t come all this way for nothing.

“Hello there. I believe you could do with my assistance.” He spoke out into the night, in no particular direction.

He felt something gripping his shirt, and noticed a filthy looking man with a long beard and longer hair standing in front of him. He looked like he was about to cry.

“You… You can see me?”

“Well, now I can.” He lifted the man’s hands off of his shirt.

The man released him, and stumbled backwards. He began to cackle for a moment, then looked back up. Looking at him was actually a little difficult. Not just for his pitiful appearance, but he was literally blurry. “You’ve gotta help me, man.”

“You’re not even mildly dissuaded by the fact that I look like the devil?” He gestured to his horns.

The man laughed and broke into a coughing fit. “I haven’t spoken to another human in a year. Sure I started with praying to god, but it didn’t take long for me to start trying for you instead.”

Caveat nodded in surprise. This man truly was desperate. “Alright, then. What seems to be the problem?” He leaned up against a clean patch of the alley wall.

“I just woke up one day, and everyone was ignoring me.” He looked down and wiped his eyes. “I had a wife and kid. At first I thought it was some kind of joke, or maybe I’d done something to make them mad, so I just went into work. Everyone there ignored me too. Things went on like that for weeks before I couldn’t take it anymore and left. I started making money by robbing places, since they just ignored me when I walked into the back. You’ve gotta get rid of this curse, man. I’ll do anything!”

Caveat felt a smile creeping across his face. “Anything?

“Anything.” The man nodded fervently.

He had to think quickly here. He’d been expecting to give this guy something for his power, but now he was going to get something in return for taking it. The first thing to consider was if he actually wanted this power. It seemed like the man could get peoples attention if the stars aligned, and not being noticed would certainly be a boon for him. It wasn’t like he had anything to lose. Secondly, he had to consider what to ask for in return. He already had enough fake identities, so he didn’t need that.

“Tell me, where did you work before all of this? What did you do?”

“I did security for a tech company. Syngenuity. I worked in one of their warehouses.”

“Alright.” Caveat nodded. A favor from a security guard could definitely be useful. “Alright, then. I will take this curse from you, but there’s a caveat. You have to return to work at the same place, and you will owe me one favor to be redeemed at a later date.” He held out his hand.

“That’s it? Deal!” The man fervently shook Caveat’s hand.

A green light swirled around them, and the man stopped being blurry. Caveat handed the man a piece of paper with a phone number scrawled on it.

“Contact me when you get settled again.”

“Yes, thank you!” The man nodded excitedly, and ran out of the alley.

Caveat smiled. Another good deed done. He walked out of the alley with his hood off. He walked past several people, and none of them appeared to pay him any mind. Out of curiosity, he waited until he found a man walking alone, and tapped him on the shoulder.

The man turned around for a moment. “Get lost asshole.” He continued walking, then stopped and did a double take. “Holy shit…” The man broke into a sprint and ran away.

Caveat smiled. This would work nicely.

This is the last bit of a short arc with Caveat during the hiatus, so I hope you enjoyed!

I am currently making good use of the hiatus, studying, dealing with some personal things, and doing another project, but don’t worry, after I’m done studying, I’ll be able to finish Season 3! I’m still plenty well on track for a March release.

(Photo credit: Pexels Free Photos)